Part 11 Chapter 100
Chapter One Hundred

18th August, 1935


Learning to drive was a bother, especially when Sarah just couldn’t find reverse in this particular car. It kept falling into fourth gear, with the car at a standstill that meant that nothing happened even if the engine didn’t stall. She was home for the Summer Holiday, she had assumed that it would be like it was in years past with her Mother busy working and her Father away doing whatever he did. She had received a series of vague postcards from various points around the world, Greece, South Africa, China, Argentina and the United States, wherever the SMS Dresden had taken him. Those had only served to make her green with envy.

Last Spring she’d gone to Wilhelmshaven and toured the ship her father was Captain of. It was obvious that between her being the Captain’s daughter and the menacing presence of Bootsmann Arend Neumann that the crew was on their best behavior. The Dresden was big, grey and full of all sorts of complex machinery. That was she’d taken away from the experience.

When Summer Holiday had rolled around Sarah was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Dresden was in for refit and her Father was on leave pending reassignment. Apparently, the High Seas Fleet had bigger things in mind for him even if he couldn’t talk about much of what the Dresden had been doing over the last two years. Boring time spent listening is what he had called it. Sarah suspected that it was anything but boring.

“Okay, you think you have it in reverse this time” Jacob said “Ease your foot off the clutch and step on the gas”

With a lurch the car backed up, Sarah looked out the rear window until she was in line with the open lane then stepped on the brake. They were in the large car park used by civilian workers in the Wunsdorf-Zossen Complex, it being a Sunday afternoon and during the Summer Holiday the expanse of asphalt was mostly empty.

“Now press in the clutch and put it into first” Jacob said “Same as before.”

The car lurched and then stalled. There was laughter from the back seat. Sarah turned around in her seat “As if you could do better!” She yelled at Nessa.

“Settle down” Jacob said “It’s her turn now.”

Nessa hadn’t been expecting that and it immediately silenced her. “Now trade places with your sister” Jacob said.

Sarah opened the door and got out so she could pull the lever that moved the seat so the passenger could get out of the back. That was when she noticed that they had an audience. A small group of men in the feldgrau uniforms of the Army were sitting in the shade on the edge of the car park. Slow day all over, she thought to herself. Having lived in Wunsdorf for most of her life she could tell that these were enlisted men. She also noticed embarrassingly that all of them were her age or only slightly older. Fortunately, they seemed more interested in the yellow car as opposed to who was driving. It was from the first production run of Volkswagen with the rear engine and not a straight line to be found anywhere, it was easy to see where it had gotten its nickname from, the Bug. Uncle Augustus had seen to it that they got this one at a discount.

Sarah climbed into the backseat, it was her turn to watch. Seeing Nessa embarrass herself would make this so much fun, it was very seldom that she saw Nessa out of her element.

Rechlin-Lärz Airfield

Emil was walking the perimeter with a squad of his men.

“The local kids used to cut a hole in the fence out here” Emil said “Keep an eye out for that.”

“Gonna put a scare into them like you used to do, Sir?” One of the Soldats asked. This man was too young to have been one of the ones he had done that with.

“I’m from Wesenberg, Sir” The Soldat said “You caught me and my friends a few times.” Wesenberg was one of the nearby villages.

“Must not have worked too well if you kept coming back” Emil observed.

“No Sir, it didn’t” The Soldat said “But I joined the Luftwaffe and the Paras because of what I saw you doing.”

“All I ever did was sneak up on you” Emil said “It’s not like I ever encouraged you.”

“Perhaps Sir” The Soldat said “But you would always yell at us for a bit and shove us out the main gate. Then we’d have to walk all the way around to get home.”

“You make it sound like it was a game” Emil said.

“It was, Sir” The Soldat said with a smile “To us anyway.”

There was the sound of an airplane approaching. This one sounded like a multi engine job but far larger than the three engine Junkers JU-52s that flew in and out at all hours. The big monoplane flew over, four radial engines and twin rudders, all metal from looks of it.

“Latest from Dornier” Emil said “I heard that the two prototypes were flying in today.”

That was when the second of the large airplanes flew into view.

San Francisco, California, USA

John was wearing a guard’s uniform even though he was no guard. With all the fanfare about how Alcatraz was impossible to escape he’d viewed it as the ultimate challenge. It was obvious that it wasn’t the prison itself that was the problem, it was of a fairly conventional construction that he could have escaped in his sleep. It was the location at the mouth of the San Francisco Bay. More than a mile of cold water and swift currents separated it from the City. It was a part of the torture of the place, the prisoners could hear the sounds of the city that looked close enough to touch but was forever out of reach.

John had swiftly thought up an escape plan but he had known that it would be so insanely audacious that no one would have ever thought it was even possible. He had left a guard hog tied in his bed and was wearing that man’s uniform as he walked out with the regular shift to the docks. After a few tense minutes when a bored looking functionary did an obviously incomplete identification check he was on the boat that took him into the city.

Several hours later, just after dawn, the sirens belatedly sounded on the island as John’s handiwork was discovered. By then he had not only escaped from Alcatraz Island but had already left the City of San Francisco far behind as well. John Dillinger had just cracked the Rock and started the largest manhunt to date in American history.
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Dornier Do-19 Prototype
Dornier Do 19 (11).jpg.4703106.jpg
Several hours later, just after dawn, the sirens belatedly sounded on the island as John’s handiwork was discovered. By then he had not only escaped from Alcatraz Island but had already left the City of San Francisco far behind as well. John Dillinger had just cracked the Rock and started the largest manhunt to date in American history.
Wow. None of the patrols noticed their buddy lying in bed hog tied for hours?
The same guards were fooled paper mache heads a few years later. They were trained to count the heads of prisoners. A knocked out guard tried up and gagged is still a head.
"Hmm, that prisoner has something stuffed in his mouth, and he's trying to move quite a lot. Obviously it's a prank!"
With the update on Hitler's (lack of) movements, since he resembles the Black Knight out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, one wonders what became of other prominent Nazis in this timeline?

I guess Himmler remained a chicken farmer and others remained mired in mediocrity, without Der Fuhrer's malign presence.

On a rather depressing sort of related note, I get a feeling that Stalin's gulags are going to be this TL's version of the Holocaust.
With the update on Hitler's (lack of) movements, since he resembles the Black Knight out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, one wonders what became of other prominent Nazis in this timeline?

I guess Himmler remained a chicken farmer and others remained mired in mediocrity, without Der Fuhrer's malign presence.

On a rather depressing sort of related note, I get a feeling that Stalin's gulags are going to be this TL's version of the Holocaust.

Goerring is a friend of Richtofen's, though one that Mrs. Richtofen does not approve of
Part 11, Chapter 101
Chapter One Hundred One

2nd September, 1935

Rosario, Argentina

Schultz, Weise, Schafer and Juan Pujol were sitting at the bar in the Cantina of the hotel they were staying in. With Thorwald on detached duty the team was down to three shooters, that was well short of the number that the other four teams in Abwehr basement had established. After the recent fracas in Spain that had left the Spanish Communists screaming for their blood WW43B had been ordered to Argentina to get the lay of the land. Is was billed as a scouting mission but the truth was that they had been sent across the Atlantic until the heat died down.

They had acquired Juan in Spain, he was a semi-competent fixer and possibly one of best bullshit artists that Schultz had ever dealt with. Juan’s ability to lie, cheat and steal to get useful information wherever they landed made up for the fact that he had absolutely no interest in the more violent aspects of their trade.

Schultz could tell that there was trouble brewing. Since Juan had pointed out that a rigged card game was taking place just a few meters away they had been watching it for entertainment. Any second now the Gaucho would realize that the card sharps were cheating him then the bullets would start flying. When things did go south it was because the unexpected happened.

The sharps had let the gaucho win just enough to keep him in the game. Now they were moving in for the kill. The pot had grown large over this hand, a month’s wages in these parts. When it came time to lay down the cards the Gaucho had the winning hand. Just by the looks on the sharps faces that wasn’t supposed to have been what happened.

What followed was a few moments of confusion as an argument as to who was cheating grew heated. That was when the first fist was thrown. Schultz watched the fight with great interest, he took particular note of what did not happen. Eventually the Gaucho was the only one left standing. The card table had been knocked over in the fight and the drover was gathering the winnings.

“A moment of your time” Schultz said the Gaucho as he signaled the bartender “Whatever this gentleman wants.”

Schultz watched as the Gaucho ordered a drink from the top shelf. Hardly a surprise there.

“Why did you not draw your gun and end the fight that way?” Schultz asked.

“Because killing a man over a card game would be such a waste” The Gaucho said.

“Discretion is a good quality to have” Schultz said “But you lacked it earlier.”

“I’ve no idea what you are referring to” The Gaucho said.

Schultz plucked the playing card out from the man’s sleeve, the King of Hearts. “Charlemagne here says otherwise” Schultz said as he flicked it away “My name happens to be Schultz. My colleagues here happen to be Weise and Schafer. The useless man at the end of the bar is Juan. And you are?”

“Martzel Ibarra” The Gaucho said “And what are you offering me here?”

“A chance for a few days of easy work” Schultz said “We just need someone local to help out.”

Martzel had a feeling that these were some very dangerous men, their leader, Schultz spoke Spanish with a heavy accent that left no doubts as to where he was from. Two of his companions looked like death on two legs and the one who Schultz called useless seemed a little too cool about walking in these circles.

“Why do I have the feeling that this is one of those deals that would be unwise to say no to?” Martzel asked.

“Because you’re nobody’s fool” Schultz said.

East London, England

Eric Blair was being led down the street by a group of thugs towards a particular establishment that went by the ominous name, The Broken Arms. Probably the broken legs and heads as well from the look of it. As he was dragged through the front door of the dingy public house he couldn’t help but notice that none of the passersby seemed to react as if this were anything out of the ordinary.

“I hope my boys didn’t cause you too much distress, Mr. Blair” a low voice said “They’ve a habit o’ coming on a bit strong at times.”

“If you mean dragging me here at knifepoint then yes, they came on a bit strong” Blair said.

“You used to be a Copper” The low voice said “It’s nothin’ you can’t handle.”

Blair’s eyes had adjusted to the dim light of this room. He could see that the man he was talking to was pushing forty but still had a powerful build.

“There are better ways to get my attention” Blair said.

“Not for the likes o’ me.”

“Why did you drag me here?” Blair demanded.

“Because of this and the bloody Huns” The low voice said.

It was a copy of Down and out in Paris and London by George Orwell, Eric Blair’s Nom de Plume.

“I saw how you lived this life before you wrote about it” The low voice said “I would like it if you would write my story, my…”

The man was reaching for a word of the sort that he didn’t normally use.

“What possible reason would I have to write your biography?” Blair asked.

“The Huns put out a flick about Arras that was a huge pack o’ lies” The low voice said “I have to tell my side.”

“And your version of events would be compelling” Blair said.

“O’ course it’d be” The low voice said “I’m Henry Bligh and I owned that bloody city.”

It was a name that no one had heard in years. The Sargent that had led the defense of Arras, won a Victoria Cross and then vanished from public view shortly after the war ended.

“God knows you could use the money, Mr. Blair” Bligh said. The worst part was that the crime boss was right about that and this was a source any journalist or writer would kill for.
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Part 11 Chapter 102
Chapter One Hundred two

10th October, 1935

Rosenheim, Germany

It was pouring down rain when Herman Goering staggered out of the bar. The bartender had refused to serve him another drop and had implied that terrible things would happen to him if he ever showed his face around there again. It was not as if he had ever refused to pay his tab. Herman staggered into an alleyway and into a brick wall where leaned for a few minutes enjoying the coolness of the rough bricks against his cheek.

For him it was obvious where his life had all gone wrong. Yes, the morphine addiction and drinking had started during the Great War but he was hardly the only man who needed those vices to get by. His ruin had come later, much later. All because of that Goddamned dog.

He had gone to Kleinburg to get a place in the new Luftwaffe. Everyone knew that it was Oswald Boelcke’s show and it was Manfred von Richthofen who was the rising star. That was where he’d made a stupid mistake that had cost him his career and eventually his marriage. By the end of the evening he had vague memories of Frau von Richthofen standing over him with a stern look of disapproval on her face and von Richthofen’s lackey Schultz being less than delicate in dragging him off the property. He had found out later that he’d accidently poisoned von Richthofen’s boarhound by tipping over a candy dish containing dark chocolates onto the floor.

After that he had been reassigned to Jasta 50 with the task of guarding the Swiss Border and was there until the inevitable poor fitness report put him out of the Luftwaffe for good. After that his life completely went into freefall.

Now here he was standing in the rain in an alley that smelled of piss. He slid down the wall, distantly aware of the pain as his weight came to rest on his knees. His life could have been, no, it should have been so much different…

He could see it perfectly, life in bright sunlight as he was at the head of the parade, The Great Leader of Germany. Throngs of people turning out to see him, not the pale imitation that marked Armistice Day every 12th of December. No this would be at height of the Summer Solstice under blue skies. It would have been so perfect.

“We see this all the time with former military officers” A voice said distracting him from his fantasy “This a severe case of Delirium Tremens complicated by opiate withdrawal, keep the restraints on him at all times and under close observation.”

“Sure thing, Sir” another voice said “Just be glad we found this one before the first snows in another month or so, otherwise we might well be scraping him off the wall of that alley next Spring.”

That sounded terrible to Goering. He wondered what poor soul they were talking about as he retreated into his blissful fantasy.

Montreal, Canada

John Dillinger had read in the papers that heads were rolling in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Word was that the US Congress had gotten into the act, the sort of thing that never ended well for the man on the street. The guard he’d choked out had tried to bullshit his way out of his situation. The rest of the guards were all pointing fingers every which way as to how no one had noticed that the wrong head was there during the several head counts that they were supposed to conduct during the night.

Once they had gotten through searching the island they had swiftly expanded the search to San Francisco and later the whole of California, he had moved swiftly to avoid the roadblocks. By then he had already slipped across the state line into Nevada in his stolen car. After that he’d been slowed down by poor roads and suspicious people. He hadn’t stopped until he had made it across the Canadian Border in Detroit of all places.

He hadn’t bothered to do most of the things that had made him famous. No bank robberies or shootouts. Law abiding the whole way. The G-Men probably didn’t know what to do with themselves.

Now he was boarding a ship to France, when he’d been on Alcatraz he’d realized that the G-Men would never stop looking for him. That meant that he would need to go someplace they would never look. France was as good a place as any to start.

Wilhelmshaven, Germany

The SMS von Hipper was a brand new heavy cruiser and she was now Jacob’s latest command. He already knew why he’d gotten this assignment and why she was unlikely to leave the Baltic for the foreseeable future. Her fire control system was the latest version of the one he had designed. His team back in Wunsdorf had continued on without him and apparently, he had taught them well because they had made incremental improvements upon the design. He had recently gotten a few telegrams from Konrad Zuse, one of the project heads explaining within reason, his proposals for the next year. Jacob could tell that the program was in good hands.

It was the addition of the latest technology, the FMG F(gO) Seetact set that had been added to the top of the gunnery tower. They were to spend the next few months testing it out. If the system worked as promised it would enable them to find surface and aerial targets in darkness or low visibility. When he read about the system he was surprised that it was basically the same system that Nickola Tesla had proposed decades earlier.

Jacob figured that it just proved the old saying about how all old things are eventually new again.
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This is a great story--well developed and compelling. What caused Göring's morphine addiction in this timeline; in OTL, he became addicted after the Beer Hall Putsch.
I'm looking forwards to more...and today or tomorrow, plan to reread and wrap my mind around this timeline better. GREAT timeline!
Seems to be a two-three year jump in the updates from kast page. Could you provide some kind of overview as to how the World has been doing?